What To Wear To A Black Tie Wedding: Style Tips

Those unsure about what to wear to a black tie wedding should understand this formal dress code. However, black tie refers to an attire that’s a level higher than formal wear, so we’ll provide specific examples of clothing that male and female guests can have when attending a wedding. 

We’ve also included an etiquette guide regarding what not to wear to a black tie wedding. And as for invitations that mention this dress code is optional, you can read what to wear to a black tie optional wedding

what to wear to a black tie wedding


Ultimate Guide On What To Wear To A Black Tie Wedding

The black tie wedding dress code means more formal attire than formal wear. It’s the most formal type of clothing to wear, so you must dress appropriately when attending a black tie wedding. 

For example, a black tie wedding attire can be described as male guests in tuxedos and female guests in evening dresses. However, you still don’t want to attend overdressed that you’ll steal the spotlight away from the couple. 


What to remember when dressing for black tie weddings

Wedding etiquette dictates that if you’re wearing an evening dress, it shouldn’t look bridal. Likewise, men wearing tuxedos should also avoid the color the groom will wear. 

It’s also worth noting that even though the wedding you’re attending mentions black tie, you have to look very fancy. For example, if it’s a daytime event, the dress code might allow a solid-colored suit and tie instead of a tuxedo and a formal and classy maxi dress instead of a long evening gown. 

But for the colors, you’ll look more appropriate with dark and deep colors instead of prints and light neutrals. Think of black, gray, navy, burgundy, or emerald shades for your black tie wedding outfit.  


What Should A Woman Wear To A Black Tie Preferred Wedding?

Women attending weddings where the invitation mentions that it’s black tie preferred for the dress code must understand that they should look even more formal. Think of wedding attire inspired by outfits in galas, but you shouldn’t still wear something too eye-catching or flashy. 

For one, avoid bridal evening gowns such as white long dresses, ball gowns with gems and lace, or anything that would be the center of attention. You should also be mindful of the neckline, back, slit, and other features of the long evening dress, as modesty is still expected as with any wedding. 

And, of course, know the style and color of the bridal party. The female wedding guests should not dress similarly to the bridesmaids. 

Here are some outfit ideas for women attending black tie weddings: 

  • Long sheath dress
  • Elegant maxi dress
  • Dark-colored or jewel-toned evening dress
  • Formal and long cocktail dress
  • Heels or pumps
  • Formal flats
  • Clutch, handbag, or any small bag
  • Dainty accessories and jewelry; pearls are classy for a black tie wedding
  • Elegant makeup; evening makeup can suit an evening black tie wedding, but make sure it’s not too dramatic or bold that you’ll gain attention


Can a woman wear pants to a black tie wedding event?

According to style guides, it’s acceptable for women to wear pants to a black tie wedding. But to look more formal, opt for palazzo-style pants rather than skinny cuts. 

Then, you can partner it with a formal top or a bodysuit with a formal blazer for a cover-up. However, avoid a form-fitting top and bottom silhouette as it might look too sexy for a black tie wedding. 

You can also wear a pantsuit if it’s a black tie optional wedding. But of course, choose solid colors and style them with accessories and cover-ups to make the outfit more formal. 


What Should You Not Wear To A Black Tie Wedding Event?

Black tie weddings are the most formal when it comes to wedding attire. Black tie attire includes tuxedos and long dresses, so expect that semi-formal or casual outfits are not suitable. 

Here are some don’ts when it comes to planning your black tie wedding attire: 

  • Long gowns but have revealing features
  • White, long, and voluminous gowns
  • Casual cocktail dresses
  • Casual short dresses
  • Beach maxi dresses
  • Patterned suit and tie
  • Jeans or any other denim
  • Shorts
  • Tees
  • Casual sleeveless tops
  • Casual sandals
  • Rubber shoes, sneakers, and other casual shoes


Do You Have To Wear A Black Suit To A Black Tie Wedding?

The ideal outfits to wear for men attending a black tie wedding are tuxedos and suits. However, does black tie attire mean you must dress in black clothes? 

Understand that male guest are not limited to wearing black suits. You can wear other colors for your tuxedo or suit, even for a black tie and other formal weddings. 

However, you want the wedding outfits to match the time and venue of the wedding. Usually, a black tie wedding happens during the evening, so opt for other dark colors like gray, navy, or even maroon for your formal suit or tux.

Make sure to avoid white and related colors for your suits and tuxedos, as the groom might be wearing these colors. And finally, know what color the groomsmen will wear, so you don’t look like a wedding party member. 

Read what color suit for a wedding for more styling tips. 



Was this attire guide helpful? To recap what to wear to a black tie wedding, expect tuxedos for men and evening gowns for women. 

Long classy dresses and dark suits are also ideal alternatives to wear to a black tie wedding. Avoid anything semi-formal or casual, as the black tie is the most formal dress code. 

Leave a Comment